Dealing with stress early is the best way to prevent its effects developing into something more serious. But in today’s remote world some of our go-to stress management techniques need reworking.
The pandemic has inevitably been a source of stress for many of us – from the obvious health concerns, grief, loss, through the financial concerns, income, and employment, to the challenge of navigating the new normal, home schooling, working from home, social distancing and isolation.
At the same time, our go-to ways of unwinding have been closed off to us: no more weekend breaks, holidays, trips to the gym, socialising with friends and family – these things have all been curtailed for so many of us.
This makes stress management strategies all the more important. However, many proven stress management tips will need reworking slightly for the socially distanced world so many of us are currently living in.
The three-step process for managing stress:
The great thing about successful stress management is you can jump straight to steps two and three and practice good stress management long before stress becomes a problem.
A July 2020 survey by FlexJobs and Mental Health America found that 42 percent of those surveyed said their stress levels are high or very high through the pandemic. With 76 percent of respondents linking workplace stress to their mental health, with stress having negative impacts on anxiety and depression, it is clear that we need to be paying extra attention to stress management techniques at the moment.
The MIT Sloan Review offers several simple ways to help minimize the particular stresses of the new way of working. It suggests:
We know that a good work life balance helps to reduce feelings of stress. Yet the FlexJobs survey found that 65 percent of workers admitted to working longer hours during the pandemic than ever before. 67 percent said they feel pressured to be available at all hours of the day.
If you’re responsible for managing teams, lead by example and try to encourage staff to switch off at the end of the day and practice work/life balance.
It is more difficult to achieve a work/life balance when working from home, but there are simple strategies that can help. Writing in Forbes magazine, Bryan Robinson suggests:
Furthermore, making time for physical exercise is shown to be beneficial in lowering stress levels. If you have time in your schedule, invest in yourself for the long-term. Undertaking training to enhance your work skills or life skills has a positive effect on our emotional wellbeing.
These simple techniques can be practiced even if you aren’t feeling stressed. Prevention is definitely better than the cure: stress can affect our health and even lead to more serious mental health issues, such as anxiety and burnout.
It can be difficult to recognise signs of stress in yourself, especially when you are up to your eyeballs in a stressful environment. So take action now to practice good stress management techniques for our remote world.
Read more: Ideas for hobbies that can relax your mind.
How do successful people relax? Discover in our blog.